Circle ‘C’ for Communion

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The church bulletin read, “Circle ‘C’ if you would like to serve communion”.

Communion. For a short time, my family attended the Catholic church down the road when I was a young girl. When I close my eyes, I can smell the pungent incense and hear the chimes of the organ. Communion was a sacred and beautiful moment between God and His people. Each Sunday, a few men and women would step forward to assist Father Jim as he served the sacraments to the people.

As a young girl of eight, I watched intently as I leaned forward, my small hands grasping the pew in front of me. I didn’t always understand Father Jim’s words to the people. But this sharing of the bread and wine? This needed no words. Jesus was calling. He was calling me to Himself. He was saying, “Feed my sheep.”

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I took the comment card from the bulletin and confidently circled the letter ‘C’. I would have to wait an entire month until communion was served again. They didn’t celebrate the sacraments every week like St. Alexander’s Church did. And those four Sundays seemed to go by so quickly.

It was communion Sunday again. No one had called me. No one had sent me an invitation to serve communion. I imagined that there must have been an overwhelming response. Surely, there were many who desired to serve the sacraments. And only a handful of people would be needed. Of course. Next time.

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The church bulletin read, “Circle ‘C’ if you would like to serve communion”.

I was certain my comment card was lost. The ushers who collect them have an important task. It seemed reasonable that a comment card or two would get lost. But I had circled ‘C’ for communion four consecutive months. Four months had come and gone. And my dream of serving in this sacred way was still an unfulfilled desire.

One Sunday, my friend arrived to church wearing his finest suit. Was there a funeral? He never wore a suit. Ever. My friend reassured me no one he knew had died. Instead, he had been asked to serve communion that Sunday. There were two missing ushers and no one to fill their place.

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Oh that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach! I transformed into that eight year old girl with her chin resting on her hands overlooking the pew in front of her. The tears. I could hear Jesus calling. He was calling me to Himself. He was calling me to feed His sheep. But there was a stumbling stone keeping me from answering His call. And I wondered who would help me move the stone.

 

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